Can you believe it?!? It’s that time of year again. I adore the holidays and make it a priority to give gifts that will mean something to the person I’m giving them too. I also make that extra effort to let anyone who has taken the time to get me a gift know how much I appreciate it.
I’ve learned a lot over the years from others who have mastered the holidays, so, before the scramble to complete your holiday shopping begins, here are 7 tips that will help make you a superstar “giver” and “receiver.”
1 – Take a bit of time to actually give your important gift some thought. Think about their likes and dislikes. Don’t go for the obvious candle or bottle of wine (unless your “giftee” is madly passionate about these items.) Ask yourself (or their nearest and dearest) if they collect anything or have any passions or interests. The thought truly does count.
2 – People love the unexpected. Don’t gift them what everyone else is. Think outside the box and make it memorable. The exception here is if they have asked for it.
3 – More expensive does not mean better. In fact, some of the best gifts I’ve ever given were the least expensive. I once printed a custom hard cover book for my mom filled with photos and captions chronicling her life. This was admittedly time consuming… collecting all the photos and doing the layout, but it was so worth it. To this day, she thinks it is one of the best gifts she has ever gotten. Printing the book cost me around $50.
4 – Consider making a gift instead of buying one. Your famous homemade brownies or a hand-knitted scarf or blanket are among the best gifts there are! Presents that people took the time to create are some of my most treasured gifts. If you’re not a Martha Stewart type (I’m definitely not either) and this isn’t an option, consider taking a bit more time on the wrapping. Make it special, create your own bows or cards and take some extra care here. The presentation definitely shows how much time and care you took with the gift and takes it to the next level.
5 – No matter what you think of the gift, be grateful that someone else took time and/or money to remember you on the holidays. Gift giving is tough sometimes and some people are just not good at it. Try to focus on being thankful for the thought and not the gift itself if the present doesn’t suit you.
6 – Do not re-gift, ever. If it is a particularly expensive or useful item that someone close to you (or a charity) could make use of and really appreciate, I suggest you could quietly pass it along to someone who could really use it. If you do this, don’t wrap it, don’t treat it as a gift.
7 -Write an actual thank you note. Use real paper and send it in the mail. People LOVE to get happy mail. Usually it’s all ads, solicitations or even bills in the mailbox. You will truly stand out from the crowd if you send a real life Thank You Card. You can use a greeting card (in this case write something personal on the inside, don’t rely solely on the text in the card.) Or, the best option I believe, is a hand written note on nice stationary that expresses your gratitude and appreciation. No need to go overboard and no need to write an essay. Short and sweet will do the trick.
Here’s to the best holiday season yet! Happy giving & receiving!